Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! Celebrate by eating ice cream! Or try to stick to your diet and eat almost ice cream!
We taste tested all of the Breyer’s, Enlightened, Halo Top, Open Nature, Simple Truth, Slim Twin we could find at Harris Teeter, Safeway and Whole Foods. In order to qualify for our taste test, we needed to be able to find at least two brands offering the same flavor.
We had five ice cream eaters blind sample whatever they could stomach. Each ice cream was presented in a bowl marked by a letter so they could document what ice cream they were tasting. Tasters were allowed to eat any ice cream in any order.
None of the tasters regularly purchase the low calorie versions of ice cream.
We did not include a vegan on the tasting panel since only a few of these are vegan friendly.
We did not force everyone to eat every flavor or brand because it’s very mean to force feed people lactose.
What follows is our favorite comment for each ice cream from one of our tasters. We also note the highest and lowest rated ice cream for each flavor. Our conclusions are at the bottom of the piece.
A. Halo Top – Lowest Rated
Kaylee: More chalk than chocolate. Call it Chalklate. I hate it.
Jenn: Much better, chocolate but not overwhelming. Subtle. Sorry I sound like I’m describing wine, we’ve done a lot of wine taste tests.
C. Slim Twin
Diana: First taste is good, but then in the middle it starts to like toothpaste but then comes back around to good again. A real journey.
D. Enlightened – Highest Rated
Diana: These low cal brands have chocolate the most figured out because this one is decently creamy and great, real chocolate taste with very little aftertaste.
E. Simple Truth
Kaylee: This one has a weird after taste but it also has a weird… Before taste? I’m upset.
F. Enlightened – Lowest Rated
Diana: Can’t figure out whether its coffee or maple but both flavors feel pretty faint and dull.
G. Slim Twin – Highest Rated
Diana: Dig this one, has a legit coffee taste and a smooth texture. Throw that in a cold brew and that’s a good morning.
H. Halo Top – Highest Rated (Tie)
Allison: Very good. Ate the most of this. Very happy for sad people.
I. Open Nature – Lowest Rated
Chris: Scandal-less? More like flavorless.
J. Enlightened – Highest Rated (Tie)
Diana: I’m here for the giant chunks of cookie dough.
MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP
K. Slim Twin
Diana: Has a really nice Andes Mints taste but the texture feels chalky.
L. Halo Top – Highest Rated
Chris: Actually tastes like ice cream.
M. Simple Truth
Jenn: Mint but not super overwhelming like K (Slim Twin). K was actually like toothpaste. This is more pleasant.
N. Breyer’s – Lowest Rated
Chris: Chemical shit.
Diana: This looks green and tastes green. Like I’ve made out with Marvin the Martian and it was messy and embarrassing for us both.
SEA SALT CARAMEL
P. Open Nature – Lowest Rated
Kaylee: Terrible flavor. Terrible texture. One spoonful of this makes you feel like you’ve poured a bag of sugar down your mouth.
Q. Simple Truth
Allison: Looks crazy, very tasty. Weird texture but tasty.
R. Halo Top
Jenn: Weird texture but it’s not affecting the taste negatively …too much. I believe it’s also caramel but there are no actual caramel swirls which is meh.
S. Enlightened – Highest Rated
Diana: Little bit chunky but this taste is so rich and yummy it’s gonna make me a little bit chunky.
If you’re going to buy one flavor, buy chocolate. Every brand rated relatively high.
If you’re going to buy one brand, buy Enlightened. The only flavor it was lowest rated was coffee but there was only two coffee options and the score differential between best and worst was very small.
Halo Top currently has the majority of freezer space. It’s not the best but it’s not the worst.
If you’re doing this to consume fewer calories and are able to save part of the pint of ice cream, just buy regular ice cream, not low calorie ice cream. Sure, most of these pints are half the calories, but you’ll have roughly half as much enjoyment. This is ice cream. It’s a dessert. Do it right and eat the good stuff.